DENVER — When you've put in as much time as Vince Cornella has in the past four months, going a few extra minutes isn't really a big deal.

On Saturday night in a Class 5A state championship match, the Monarch 106-pound freshman, facing a very familiar foe in Pomona sophomore Wyatt Yapoujian, tied the match 4-4 with 14 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

Then, with momentum clearly on his side — and all the eyes of the Pepsi Center on him — Cornella scored the takedown of his life with six seconds left in the extra period to win 6-4.

"This feels amazing, I worked so hard for this and I've been visualizing this since the first day in the (wrestling) room," said Cornella, who finished his freshman campaign with a stellar 37-3 record. "And it finally paid off."

Monarch freshman Vince Cornella is locked up with Wyatt Yapoujian of Pomona in the Class 5A 106-pound state championship match. Cornella won 6-4 in
Monarch freshman Vince Cornella is locked up with Wyatt Yapoujian of Pomona in the Class 5A 106-pound state championship match. Cornella won 6-4 in overtime. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

It was the third time that Cornella had faced Yapoujian this high school season. In the first week of January, Yapoujian won 1-0 at the Doc Buchanan tournament in California. Cornella returned the favor in a big way at the Top of the Rockies, winning 8-2.

On Saturday night, the match was 2-2 going to the third period and it was Yapoujian that went ahead 3-2 on an escape and then 4-2 when Cornella was called for locking hands.

But Yapoujian was running out of gas and Cornella looked like he was just getting started. He finally got the equalizing takedown with 14 second left and then hung on to force overtime.


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"After that last takedown in the third I knew I had him, he was broken and I knew I had the gas in the tank to go forever," Cornella said. "I felt fine and I knew I had to stick with my best stuff, and if that's not good enough, then the other guys is a better wrestler."

It was the first state title for the Coyotes program since Geoff Meng won a 112-pound title in 2006 and it was just the third overall for the school.

"I'm so excited for Vince and for all the guys because I know how much work they put in and trained for this weekend," said Monarch coach Ezra Paddock, whose team placed four wrestlers. "He does everything the right way, and all our kids do and they deserve the best."

And Cornella, who will get to celebrate with his Peak to Peak classmates on Tuesday, was quick to pay homage to the trio of seniors — Cole Polluconi, Parker McQuade and Nate Pritchard — for laying the groundwork in the program.

"Those guys are great leaders and I've known Cole for a while and I knew coming into this program that it was going to be a good fit," he said.

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt